The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-19-17

Posted on August 23rd, 2017 at 9:56 am by

Does Jewish Power call the shots at Outfront Media?

On July 7, Deir Yassin Remembered initiated a possible contract with Outfront Media for a billboard in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area. Our request was met with an apparently willing Lafe Schneider, Territory Growth Manager for Outfront’s Detroit office. Lafe provided us with three suitable locations in our preferred area and even offered to provide a new vinyl “skin” for us.

He sent a copy of the contract for us, which we signed and scanned back to him. For the full contract, click here.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Outfront%20Contract%20Page%201.jpg

So far, so good. That was July 19. Then, came the iceberg a few hours later. Lafe wrote: “Henry, We have a little issue. The design didn’t get approved. Do you have another?” Yes, we had another design; response from Lafe: “That won’t work. It got denied.” That generated our question: ”Can you explain why the message fails to meet approval? Can we arrange a meeting with your management? Perhaps there is some information we can bring which might shed some light.”

Lafe then plunges the dagger: “They say it’s an attack ad. This is coming from New York it’s out of our hands.” DYR wonders if a similar sign, say “America First Not China” would have received the same “attack ad” comment from New York.

Controlled Opposition

An invitation to a local rally for Palestine crosses our desk: “50/50 PICNIC and RALLY . . . REMEMBERING 50 YEARS SINCE DETROIT REBELLION . . . 50 YEARS OF PALESTINE OCCUPATION
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 2017 — 3:00 PM”. Heading the list of a half-dozen organizers is Jewish Voice for Peace.

Readers of Gilad Atzmon’s newest book, Being in Time, will have no difficulty identifying this rally as a prime example of controlled opposition. Jewish Zionists create the Jewish state, and Jewish “anti-Zionists” manage the opposition camp, ensuring that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the corruption of US foreign policy will largely be ignored. As Artesian Royalty reminds us, it isn’t “the occupation” that JVP’s Rebecca Vilkomerson would have us believe as the root cause; rather “The root cause of the conflict in Palestine-Israel is the creation and maintenance by force of a Jewish state in a territory with a non-Jewish majority.”

Reminder #1: Guest Celebrity Vigiler

Brother Nathanael Kapner of the Brother Nathanael Foundation will join Witness for Peace on August 26 at the usual time: 9:30 – 10:45 AM. Brother Nathanael has placed himself on the leading edge for discussions on a range of topics, including the 9/11/2001 attacks and the Holocaust. He will be at the Ann Arbor District Library (Downtown Branch) for a discussion from 3pm to 5pm that afternoon. Make plans to join us at our vigil on that date and stand side by side with the good Brother.

Reminder #2: Sign Thief Arraignment:

Readers are welcome to join us at Jessica Lieberman’s arraignment and pre-trial on August 28 at 1:30 PM in the 15th District Court chambers: Ann Arbor Justice Center, 301 E Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48107.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Aug 5: Three vigilers
Aug 12: Four vigilers
Aug 19: Four vigilers
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Report on Beth Israel vigil 07-29-17

Posted on August 1st, 2017 at 10:51 pm by

A Working Vacation

This writer recently completed a 10-state motorcycle tour of the United States and carried the message “America First Not Israel” on bike and body.

This message met with approval over a dozen times and received no negative comments. Some rather lengthy and friendly conversations ensued – including frank discussions on many of the Holocaust myths – and one pickup driver demanded a high-five at a gas station at Black Canyon, Colorado. A second tip of the hat to Deir Yassin Remembered Executive Director Dan McGowan for coming up with that effective phrase, who reminds us that the message predates The Donald’s rather porous “America First”. Just seems like our CIC cannot complete the phrase, but if he were ever to witness our weekly vigils, he’d be reminded.

Guest Celebrity Vigiler August 26

Brother Nathanael Kapner of the Brother Nathanael Foundation will join Witness for Peace on August 26 at the usual time: 9:30 – 10:45 AM. Brother Nathanael has placed himself on the leading edge for discussions on a range of topics, including the 9/11/2001 attacks and the Holocaust. Hopefully he will agree to hold a discussion with many of his loyal followers in Ann Arbor that evening. Make plans to join us at our vigil on that date and stand side by side with the good Brother.

Sign Thief Identified

The woman pictured in our last vigil report attempting to steal one of our signs is none other than the daughter of Professor Victor “Heil Hitler!” Lieberman. The apparent scofflaw – Jessica Lieberman – seems no stranger to the 15th District Court of the State of Michigan as she has been arraigned for speeding (2009, 2014, and 2016) and for impeding traffic in 2013. Now the Washtenaw County Prosecutor will charge her with Larceny – less than $200.

Readers are welcomed to join us a Jessica’s arraignment and pre-trial on August 28 at 1:30 PM in the 15th District Court chambers: Ann Arbor Justice Center, 301 E Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48107

Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree …

Daddy Lieberman must know his daughter is scheduled for arraignment, yet he persists in his typical, verbal-bullying at our otherwise peaceful vigils. This week we speak to a passerby, but Professor Lieberman senses a chance to bash this writer and our group, and interrupts the conversation at least twice to obfuscate the issue and drive the interested party away. Hasbara tactics are never far away from third category Jews. Check out this 8 minute video here.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Four vigilers
#

Rich Siegel’s Statement on Anti-BDS Bill

Posted on July 27th, 2017 at 11:34 pm by

Senator Menendez of New Jersey (where I reside) and Senators Gillibrand and Schumer of New York (where I was raised and where I often work), are co-sponsors of a bill which would put people in jail for boycotting Israel. So I have this to say to them: I’m a Jew and I will go to jail gladly rather than forfeit my constitutional right to boycott Israel, or to boycott anyone.

This bill would be astonishing if it were not consistent with so much history of Zionist entitlement and exceptionalism in America. In 1947 America delayed the Palestine partition vote at the UN, bullying client states to vote for a resolution that violated the terms of the fledgling UN’s own charter. In 1948 America recognized Israel minutes after it declared independence, and while Zionist terrorists were committing massacres, rapes and military forced mass expulsions. In 1967 the USS Liberty was attacked by Israel causing the deaths of 34 American servicemen and 172 injured, a casualty rate of 70%. The official American policy towards this attack was that it was an accident, a case of mistaken identity, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In 1973, when Israel was on the verge of being defeated in a war with Egypt, America bailed Israel out with a massive military airlift. America always looks the other way when Israel attacks the Palestinians or attacks neighboring countries. America participates in pretend peace processes, which are designed to be permanent processes without resolution while settlements expand in violation of international law. And America gives Israel billions and billions in aid, ever increasing, while our economy is hurting and our infrastructure crumbling at home.

What excuses are given for our support for the criminal entity Israel? It is said that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. But Israel is not a democracy at all. It can’t be both a Jewish state and a democracy. And it certainly can’t be a democracy while millions of its rightful citizens, rightful voters, the refugees and their descendants, are kept outside of Israel in defiance of international law, in order to maintain an artificial Jewish majority. Another reason often given is because Israel is our only ally in the Middle East. Quoting Father John Sheehan, “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.”

Growing up Jewish in America I was often told that everyone hates Jews for no reason. One of the “Anti-Semitic canards” I was taught that “Goyim” (non-Jews) say about Jews is that we only care about ourselves, that we are disloyal to countries where we live, and we manipulate others to act in our interests. Wanting desperately to believe that this is indeed just an “Anti-Semitic canard”, it is undeniable that we have seen just this aspect of Jewish behavior played out in America’s relationship with Israel. Clearly Jewish influence has been active behind the scenes, in ways that don’t even represent all Jews, as there have always been Jews who opposed Israel, and increasingly, there are Jews who were raised supporting Israel, like myself, who have changed our minds.

We have seen, for many decades, America’s support for the settler colonial entity which is Israel, we have seen America’s support for Israel’s apartheid policies which violate every standard of morality and basic human decency, we have even seen America excusing an attack on our own Navy vessel. Now we are seeing America willingly sacrificing the rights of its own citizens, rights protected under the first Amendment of the constitution, for Israel. If this bill passes we will serve jail time for boycotting a foreign country. Are we going to stand for that?

Rich Siegel

Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-24-17

Posted on June 30th, 2017 at 2:38 pm by

Theft and Appropriation: Jewish Values?

Witness for Peace was given a lesson in specious reasoning, attempted theft, and feigned victimization at our vigil on May 20, 2017. Take a look at the photo of this unidentified woman:

This would-be thief apparently thought it her right to steal property that was obviously not hers, falsely claim it was, and then – when caught red-handed – claim that she was “accosted” by three men, all accompanied by a river of crocodile tears.

We cannot make this stuff up. But thanks to some successful sign thieves a few years ago, the Go-Pro camera – purchased exactly for this reason – caught all the action.

If we were to channel Gilad Atzmon, we might see the similarity between this woman’s actions, and the 100-year operation of Jewish Zionism: Take something that isn’t yours, make up rules (laws) that ex post facto gives you an imaginary “right” to the property, then call the cops (Great Britain, USA, UN, etc.) to help you legitimize this theft, and finally when caught in the act, claim eternal victimhood (the Holocaust) and shed tears to convince others of your innocence in this self-imposed tragedy.

She parked her car around the corner from our protest and walked up to one of our signs and removed it from one of our chairs to which it was attached. As our video here clearly shows – by our quick apprehension of her – our signs are constantly under our care and supervision throughout our entire vigil. Watch and listen to her words:

1. “How do I know it’s your sign?”
2. “It’s MY sign. I just picked it up off the sidewalk.”
3. “Let go of my sign … Let the hell go of it”
4. “What are you doing with my damn sign?”

Then the play of the victim card, as she’s on the phone with the Ann Arbor Police Department:

1. “They physically assaulted me”
2. “I felt very threatened”
3. “I felt terribly threatened and unsafe; it was an assault” (this said as she’s pacing the sidewalk in close proximity to the same vigil members she is claiming assaulted her)
4. “… the other two that accosted me”

And please enjoy the final act, where she’s escorted back to her car by a large policeman. Perhaps an incident like this might have played on Norman Finkelstein’s mind when he wrote Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.

As this vigil report goes to press, WfP remains unaware of this woman’s name.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
June 17: Four vigilers
June 24: Four vigilers
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-10-17

Posted on June 12th, 2017 at 10:37 am by

Witness for Peace in the News

Just when you thought that journalism was totally comatose, up pops a reporter of the local on-line and print edition of The Ann Arbor News and places a call to this writer. Her interest was – after reading other accounts of the SPLC smearing us as a “hate” group – to get OUR side of the story. This led to a 45-minute telephone interview and resulting article. News sources like The Michigan Daily, WUOM and WEMU radio, and (of course) The Washtenaw Jewish News rejected our efforts to set the record straight, so it was like a breath of fresh air to see that, in some quarters, a few basic journalistic standards are still respected and the “other side” gets a hearing.

Commentary Revealing

“Ann Arbor group that questions Holocaust says ‘hate group’ label unfair” appeared in the Wednesday on-line edition, and Thursday’s print edition (print editions available only on Thursdays and Sundays) of The Ann Arbor News. Readers can view the on-line edition here, complete with a half-dozen photos, and view text of the article after signature.

There are about 125 comments to the article as of this writing, and we found it interesting that, although the “Keyboard Warriors” initially overwhelmed the dialogue with ad hominem responses, after a while some more thoughtful and lengthy comments appear. An old adage holds that for every ten people who hold a similar opinion, one writes about it.

Worth Repeating: Why Challenging the Holocaust Narrative Matters

Although Witness for Peace has decided (via consensus) that our street protest focus on Israeli crimes, its “right” to exist as a Jewish state, and the corrosive effects of Jewish Power on America, and NOT on the Holocaust, it’s worth reflecting on the reasons for doing so in our vigil report of April 23, 2016.

In addition, the Zionist professor Norman Finkelstein provides us with his own take:

As already noted, Jewish elites in the United States have enjoyed enormous prosperity. From this combination of economic and political power has sprung, unsurprisingly, a mindset of Jewish superiority. Wrapping themselves in the mantle of The Holocaust, these Jewish elites pretend—and, in their own solipsistic universe, perhaps imagine themselves—to be victims, dismissing any and all criticism as manifestations of “anti-Semitism.” And, from this lethal brew of formidable power, chauvinistic arrogance, feigned (or imagined) victimhood, and Holocaust-immunity to criticism has sprung a terrifying recklessness and ruthlessness on the part of American Jewish elites. Alongside Israel, they are the main fomenters of anti-Semitism in the world today.

[Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History]

Readers are invited to read the response of the Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered on the SPLC’s smear see:  “Castigated the Southern Poverty Law Center” .

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Remember the USS Liberty
June 3: Five vigilers
June 10: Four vigilers
#

June 07, 2017 at 3:02 PM, updated June 07, 2017 at 3:03 PM

ANN ARBOR, MI – Does Ann Arbor have a “hate group” that denies what happened during the Holocaust?

Yes, says The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit based in Alabama dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. The center says the Ann Arbor group called Deir Yassin Remembered is one of 10 “Holocaust deniers” in the U.S. and has included it on center’s annual hate group list.

A member of Deir Yassin Remembered says labeling the group a hate group is unfair and an effort to silence them.

Henry Herskovitz, a member of the board of advisers for Deir Yassin Remembered, describes his organization as “Holocaust revisionists.” He said questioning widely accepted facts about the Holocaust and voicing concerns about the amount of power wielded by Jewish people is not inherently anti-Semitic.

“If people are labeled hater or anti-Semitic, doesn’t the truth exonerate them?” asks Herskovitz, who said he formerly identified as Jewish. “The truth should be able to defend us against the claim of hate.”

Deir Yassin Remembered says its mission is to educate the public about a 1948 massacre in the Israeli village of Deir Yassin that killed more than 100 Palestinians. The group thinks the historical suffering of Palestinians has been minimized while the historical suffering of Jews has been unduly amplified.

Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said Deir Yassin Remembered was added to the center’s lists of hate groups for 2017 due to the group’s support of Holocaust deniers and its questioning of historically accurate facts about the Holocaust – the mass murder of European Jews and other groups by the Nazis before and during World War II.

The main purpose of denying the Holocaust is to “rehabilitate the German Nazis’ image as part of a bid to make the ideology of national socialism more acceptable,” according to the SPLC website.

Deir Yassin Remembered is included on the SPLC’s annual hate group list that identified 917 hate groups across the country this year. Michigan is home to 28 hate groups on the SPLC’s list.

In February, Deir Yassin Remembered paid for a billboard on U.S. 23 near Whitmore Lake that read, “America First Not Israel.” The billboard sparked complaints and was taken down within a week.

Herskovitz considered the phrase on the billboard put up in February to be an extension of President Donald Trump’s “America first” stance mentioned in his inauguration speech.

The phrase “America First” also has ties to World War II, when the America First Committee voiced opposition to U.S. involvement in the war. Some people who spoke publicly on behalf of the America First Committee expressed views that were considered anti-Semitic.

In addition to his involvement in Deir Yassin Remembered, Herskovitz started an anti-Israel group called “Witness for Peace.” For more than 13 years, members of Witness for Peace have protested outside the Beth Israel Congregation, a Jewish synagogue in Ann Arbor, every Saturday. Herskovitz said he used to attend services at Beth Israel.

Beth Israel congregants reflect on 10 years of protests at synagogue

While Witness for Peace and Deir Yassin Remembered are separate entities, Herskovitz said, members of each organization have supported each other’s causes over the years. Witness for Peace is not included in the SPLC’s 2017 list of hate groups.

In the past, the protesters outside Beth Israel have been denounced by the Ann Arbor City Council and other elected officials, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and 31 other local religious leaders.

Victor Lieberman, a member of the Beth Israel Congregation and a history professor at the University of Michigan, said he doesn’t question the right to free speech of members of Deir Yassin Remembered. But he finds their message hateful.

“The issue is not free speech, but the purposes to which speech is directed. The SPLC … decries efforts by DYR and its friends to instill hatred, to malign entire categories of people on the basis of religious, sexual, or racial identity,” Lieberman wrote in an email to The Ann Arbor News.

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-27-17

Posted on May 30th, 2017 at 11:50 pm by

Fair Play

This week Witness for Peace has raised questions in the Ann Arbor City Attorney’s office for one of our signs that sent Assistant City Attorney Kristen Larcom out to photograph it. The sign reads

Prof. Victor Lieberman: “Heil Hitler!”

And is pictured below

 

 

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Heil%20Lieberman-sm.jpg

A Short History

Why would WfP carry such a sign? Here’s the back story and explanation:

Back in 2012, this writer made the mistake of becoming frustrated at the continual stream of lies and yammering of congregant and University of Michigan Professor Victor Lieberman. In a moment of annoyance, words were uttered sarcastically, in the attempt to put an end to that day’s conversation. It worked; he left me alone.

But he held onto those words and started throwing them in my face every chance he got. When the verbal became written – in the Washtenaw Jewish News in 2015– I sent the following letter to that organization, with a copy to Lieberman:

September 26, 2015

Ms. Susan Kravitz Ayer
Editor and Publisher
Washtenaw Jewish News
Re: An open letter to an Ann Arbor hate group, WJN Sept. 2015

Dear Ms. Ayer,

To clear up any misunderstanding between our group and the local Jewish community, neither I nor anyone in our group believes that Jews “deserved” the suffering they experienced during World War II in Europe.

Thank you,

Fast Forward

Two events have recently been presented by our opposition: First, the Washtenaw Jewish News repeated the misleading allegation they knew to be so in their April 2017 issue, and Lieberman shouted “Heil Hitler!” at me during our vigil on March 18, 2017. Readers are invited to see and listen to those words here.

Was Lieberman serious about speaking those words, or, like me five years ago, did he say them facetiously? We just don’t know. It seems rather petty to hold a person to his words when the likeliness of sarcasm exists. But he and the larger Jewish community seem set on doing just that, and Witness for Peace will gift our sign to Lieberman when our above letter gets published in the WJN.

And that’s the whole story.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Five vigilers
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-20-17

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 at 10:51 pm by

Zionist Hawk Exposed

In our vigil report of April 1, we shared a letter to the Washtenaw Jewish News accepting Professor Victor Lieberman’s challenge to discuss the issues we raise at our vigils. Now it’s time to share the outcome of this offer to debate.

First, we receive a notice of interest from Beth Israel Congregant Victor Lieberman

Dear Mr. Larry Brayboy,

I have read with interest many of the e-mails that you have sent me concerning 9/11 and other matters, and I would like to learn more about your views.

May I assume that you are the same Larry Brayboy with whom Mr. Henry Herskovitz of Deir Yassin Remembered has suggested that I engage in public debate? Such a debate would be a useful forum for you to publicize your ideas more widely, and I am interested.

Thanks for getting back to me,

Sincerely,

(Prof.) Victor Lieberman

Larry’s response:

Yes I am the one.

I would be very interested in sharing my ideas about 9/11 with a wide audience and am eager to learn about who you feel was responsible for the 9/11 EVENTS.

You can reach me here or at 734 665 xxxx and we can discuss a date, time and location for a discussion to be held on the events of September 11, 2001.

Larry Brayboy

Lieberman then adds my name to the equation and appears eager to get this debate going:

Dear Mr. Brayboy,

Thanks for getting back to me. Since Henry Herskovitz proposed the debate, he seems the logical person with whom to discuss practical arrangements. I imagine that I’ll see him outside the synagogue this Saturday morning, and that he then will get back to you.

Best wishes,

Vic Lieberman

Sensing a restriction on our work at the vigils, I enter the discussion:

Vic,

I see that you and Larry have connected via email.

Since the vigils are not part of this effort, may I suggest another time, place to meet to discuss details?

Perhaps coffee Monday morning? Then Larry will have the opportunity to join us.

Best
Henry

Is it ALWAYS about the money?

Inexplicably, Lieberman ignores this clear message of separation, and counters:

Hi Henry,

I will debate Larry Brayboy under these conditions:

1. Your organization agrees to end the picket in front of Beth Israel.
2. Your organization deposits $55,000 in an escrow account in a mutually agreed financial institution.
3. If there are no picketers, signs, or demonstrations of any sort in front of Beth Israel for five years, at the end of that time the money will be returned to you with interest.
4. If during that five-year period any picketing occurs, the money will be forfeit and distributed as follows: $5000 to me, $25,000 to Beth Israel Congregation, and $25,000 to AIPAC.
5. This agreement will be drawn up in writing, and any disputes on interpretation of the agreement will be settled by the rabbi of Beth Israel. His decisions will be final.

Assuming these conditions are acceptable to you, I will have a lawyer produce a formal agreement and present it to you for approval. If any of these conditions is unacceptable, you will continue your marvelously productive picket indefinitely and there will be no debate. I have all the information I wanted from Larry Brayboy.

Regards,
Victor Lieberman

Conclusion

Our assessment of Lieberman’s attempt to impose ridiculous conditions for the debate is that he never intended to have one in the first place. We suspect Jewish and Israeli skeletons in the closet in regard to the Holocaust and the 9/11 attacks on the US. Lieberman often accuses us vigilers of cowardice, yet when push came to shove, it was he who blinked.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
May 13 Three vigilers
May 20 Four vigilers
#

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